Over the past few months I've been off and on navigating the medical system, off and on because the doctor with whom I'm working periodically hears me say: I think I'm going to try energy work or a homeopathic remedy before taking further steps. The thing I appreciate and respect about this man is he not only sees me again when a remedy doesn't work, but he actually has a degree of curiosity as to what I'm trying. This is a highly unusual and most refreshing trait to find in one's doctor. His honesty has kept me returning to him to report on what I'm doing and find out what he suggests as a next step.
One of those next steps recently took me to the hospital for a biopsy. There at 7am I thought I would be one of the first folks seen so I could get on with my day. Instead I got in line and was given a card reading number "56". I felt like I was in the airport awaiting a Southwest flight in the day when passengers got colored coded and numbered flight cards.
To my surprise, I was called to another area quickly where a kind gentleman collected information then said if I paid my bill in full that day I'd get a 20% discount. I was stunned at even the discounted cost that I insisted they file insurance first. He kindly noted this and ushered me on to my next stop where I presented my doctor's orders for a neck biopsy. To everyone's surprise including mine, I had been scheduled for a thyroid biopsy. A neck biopsy meant I needed blood work prior to the procedure. As I'm being shuffled apologetically down yet another corridor, the man with me called out to a doctor just in front of us. The doctor learned I was his next patient. He looked at my neck and said I didn't need blood work. I smiled appreciating the synchronicity of encountering the doctor in the hallway.
An hour later, an apologetic nurse retrieved me from yet another holding area. By this point, I would typically be irritated, hostile and judgmental, while attributing the morning's confusion to brokenness of the system. I had a litany of former frustrations with 'the system' from trying to help family members navigate it. This was my first time to do so personally.
Throughout the past few months during this journey, I had been practicing seeing those about me, from the nurses and technicians to receptionists and insurance handlers, through a lens of love rather than fear. I had been amazed at how doing something so simple had kept me in an open place and prevented fear from controlling me. I was mindful of looking each person in the eye and seeing them as assistants as part of my journey.
My attitude was challenged when the nurse on this particular morning pulled a curtain back and offered me a hospital gown and bed on which to lie while waiting. The biopsy was on my neck. Why did I need a gown and a bed for that? When she asked if I had a 'driver' I realized I might be in for something a bit more significant than a few pin pricks in the neck. Fear temporarily became part of the lens through which I was seeing my experience.
As I lay in the bed surrounded by a curtain, I was aware of the many conversations around me. They were unavoidable in such close quarters. One man was having his lungs biopsied. The risks of the procedure were being explained and highlighted to he and his family since he had a horrible cough as well as a fever. Another woman was having a heart procedure while another was having something kidney related done which she had previously had done it seemed multiple times.
While lying there, I became acutely aware of how the material world pulls us away from who we really are and even more so when the material world is trauma-related and fear creating like a hospital. Just as I realized this I heard: "Remember who you are." No, it wasn't the voice of yet another staff member checking my cognitive capacities. It was a voice, that shot through my mind, not audibly but certainly not of my mind. I clearly heard: Remember who you are and I immediately knew: I am love.
I nearly get teary (happy tears) just recalling this because here I lay in a place surrounded by strangers, without my 'driver,' uncertain which procedure I was ultimately gonna have and all I could feel, think and be was love. A feeling of love permeated my body as I lay in a hospital bed in a strange place but not feeling like a stranger at all. I lay there over an hour, yes an hour, feeling such joy and happiness while sending love to the staff and patients all around me and throughout the hospital floors above me. I was in a deep meditative state aware that I seldom enter such a place of quiet at home because of the many distractions.
I was in that place when a different young woman came and wheeled me to the biopsy room where I met the doctor from the hallway again. Seeing the equipment that would be used to assist in the exploration of my neck made me realize the earlier sum of money requested wasn't much compared to the equipment used, not to mention paying the many salaries of those who assisted me throughout the morning.
Another hour of so later, I made it home fine without a 'driver.' Come to think of it, Love was my driver, love and the voice that I thankfully heard and obeyed. It never fails when I'm awake and aware I get little messages of such simplicity and importance.
My gift to you this holiday and every day is "Remember who you are." Take the time to listen, to pay attention to find the things that speak to you, the small things that move you and make you feel, that bring a smile to your insides or a tear to your eye. Remember, remember who you really are and allow whomever you find to be your 'driver' in the coming year!